Book Discussion

We will continue to discuss Craig Dilworth‘s unique history of our species written from the perspective of the failure of technology to ultimately solve our deepest problems: Too Smart for Our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind. In this book the author presents the thesis, the “Vicious Circle Principle”, that from the beginning of Homo Sapien’s existence, our species’ development from the first rock tools has consisted of an accelerating movement from situations of scarcity, to technological innovation, to increased resource availability, to increased consumption, to population growth, to resource depletion, to scarcity once again, and so on, leading after more than 200,000 years to today’s population overshoot, extreme environmental stress, and approaching resource limits.

In our past two sessions we focused on this book's chapters which dealt with the scientific background for the Vicious Circle Principle and the history of humankind from the perspective of the VCP. In our final session for this book we will discuss the last two chapters, 6 and 7, which deal with the vicious circle as it is playing out today.

If you appreciate the study of anthropology, ecology, and history, and if you understand that we humans are not doing well at solving our deepest problems with development of yet more complex social structures and technology, then this evening’s program is for you! We will begin with a 20-minute presentation by the organizer, and then have a group discussion. Participants are requested to have read the book or at least have begun reading it, so that we can all be "up to speed" during our discussion.

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  • David O.

    It was an enthusiastic meeting. Seven people showed up and everybody was eager to contribute their ideas about technology and environmental degradation. I was a little surprised that more people didn't understand net energy and its implications. The next meeting on mechanisms of rapid societal collapse, should be very interesting.

    January 21, 2013

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